Central Intelligence Agency
national intelligence agency of the United States
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is a civilian foreign intelligence service of the U.S. Government, tasked with gathering, processing and analyzing national security information from around the world, primarily through the use of human intelligence (HUMINT). As one of the principal members of the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC), the CIA reports to the DNI and is primarily focused on providing intelligence for the President and his Cabinet.
- Bob Archer: When you think about the CIA, you probably imagine two of our most popular and enduring myths. The first is that our mission is to search the globe for any conceivable threat to the United States, and the second is that we have the power to perform the first. This myth is the byproduct of an organization, which, by its very nature, must exist and operate in secrecy. Secrecy is a vacuum and nothing fills a vacuum like paranoid speculation... Hey, did you hear who killed so and so? I hear it was the CIA. Hey what about that coup in El Banana Republico? Must have been the CIA! Hey, be careful looking at that website, you know who keeps a record of every website anyone's ever looked at ever? The CIA... Hey, how did that crazy country get those nukes? Where was the CIA? How come all those people were murdered by that fanatic? Where was the CIA? How come, when the dead began coming back to life, we didn't know about it until they were breaking through out living room windows? Where the hell was the goddamn CIA?
- Max Brooks, World War Z (2006), pp. 57–58
- Since the U.S. had previously seemed to be a protector of the right to self-determination, Iranians felt terribly betrayed when the CIA overthrew the democratically elected constitutional government headed by Mosaddeq and installed the Shah. Then, with increasing visibility and high-handedness, both “American government and business interests acted the role of the exploiter and corrupter.”
- Richard A. Horsley, Religion and Empire: People, Power, and the Life of the Spirit (2003), pp. 68–69
The Coming Wars - What the Pentagon can now do in secret, by Seymour Hersh, The New Yorker, January 16, 2005Edit
- George W. Bush... his national-security advisers have consolidated control over the military and intelligence communities’ strategic analyses and covert operations to a degree unmatched since the rise of the post-Second World War national-security state... The C.I.A. will continue to be downgraded, and the agency will increasingly serve, as one government consultant with close ties to the Pentagon put it, as “facilitators” of policy emanating from President Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney...
- The President’s decision enables Rumsfeld to run the operations off the books — free from legal restrictions imposed on the C.I.A. Under current law, all C.I.A. covert activities overseas must be authorized by a Presidential finding and reported to the Senate and House intelligence committees. (The laws were enacted after a series of scandals in the nineteen-seventies involving C.I.A. domestic spying and attempted assassinations of foreign leaders.)
- “The Pentagon doesn’t feel obligated to report any of this to Congress,” the former high-level intelligence official said. "...They’re not even going to tell... the regional American military commanders-in-chief. (The Defense Department and the White House did not respond to requests for comment on this story.)
- Two former C.I.A. clandestine officers, Vince Cannistraro and Philip Giraldi, who publish Intelligence Brief, a newsletter for their business clients, reported last month on the existence of a broad counter-terrorism Presidential finding that permitted the Pentagon “to operate unilaterally in a number of countries where there is a perception of a clear and evident terrorist threat.... A number of the countries are friendly to the U.S. and are major trading partners...” The two former officers listed some of the countries—Algeria, Sudan, Yemen, Syria, and Malaysia. (I was subsequently told by the former high-level intelligence official that Tunisia is also on the list.)
- Giraldi, who served three years in military intelligence before joining the C.I.A., said that he was troubled by the military’s expanded covert assignment. “I don’t think they can handle the cover,” he told me. “They’ve got to have a different mind-set. They’ve got to handle new roles and get into foreign cultures and learn how other people think. If you’re going into a village and shooting people, it doesn’t matter,” Giraldi added. “But if you’re running operations that involve finesse and sensitivity, the military can’t do it. Which is why these kind of operations were always run out of the agency.”
- Rumsfeld will no longer have to refer anything through the government’s intelligence wringer,” the former official went on. “The intelligence system was designed to put competing agencies in competition. What’s missing will be the dynamic tension that insures everyone’s priorities—in the C.I.A., the D.O.D., the F.B.I., and even the Department of Homeland Security—are discussed. The most insidious implication of the new system is that Rumsfeld no longer has to tell people what he’s doing
How America Took Out The Nord Stream Pipeline, by Seymour Hersh, February 8 2023Edit
- The New York Times called it a "mystery," but the United States executed a covert sea operation that was kept secret—until now... the participants debated options for an attack... CIA argued that whatever was done, it would have to be covert... Over the next few weeks, members of the CIA’s working group began to craft a plan for a covert operation that would use deep-sea divers to trigger an explosion along the pipeline....
- Still, the interagency group was initially skeptical of the CIA’s enthusiasm for a covert deep. Throughout “all of this scheming,” the source said, “some working guys in the CIA and the State Department were saying, ‘Don’t do this. It’s stupid and will be a political nightmare if it comes out.’”... Nevertheless, in early 2022, the CIA working group reported back to Sullivan’s interagency group: “We have a way to blow up the pipelines.”
- ... some of the senior officials of the CIA determined that blowing up the pipeline “no longer could be considered a covert option because the President just announced that we knew how to do it.”...
- The plan to blow up Nord Stream 1 and 2 was suddenly downgraded from a covert operation requiring that Congress be informed to one that was deemed as a highly classified intelligence operation with U.S. military support. Under the law, the source explained, “There was no longer a legal requirement to report the operation to Congress... The source recalled, “Bill Burns [CIA Director]comes back and says, ‘Do it.’”...
- Being tasked with an arbitrary, last-minute change was something the CIA was accustomed to managing. But it also renewed the concerns some shared over the necessity, and legality, of the entire operation.
- The President’s secret orders also evoked the CIA’s dilemma in the Vietnam War days, when President Johnson, confronted by growing anti-Vietnam War sentiment, ordered the Agency to violate its charter—which specifically barred it from operating inside America—by spying on antiwar leaders to determine whether they were being controlled by Communist Russia.
- The agency ultimately acquiesced, and throughout the 1970s it became clear just how far it had been willing to go. There were subsequent newspaper revelations in the aftermath of the Watergate scandals about the Agency’s spying on American citizens, its involvement in the assassination of foreign leaders and its undermining of the socialist government of Salvador Allende.
- Those revelations led to a dramatic series of hearings in the mid-1970s in the Senate, led by Frank Church of Idaho, that made it clear that Richard Helms, the Agency director at the time, accepted that he had an obligation to do what the President wanted, even if it meant violating the law.
In unpublished, closed-door testimony, Helms ruefully explained that “you almost have an Immaculate Conception when you do something” under secret orders from a President.
“Whether it’s right that you should have it, or wrong that you shall have it, [the CIA] works under different rules and ground rules than any other part of the government.” He was essentially telling the Senators that he, as head of the CIA, understood that he had been working for the Crown, and not the Constitution.
- Over the past 14 years, the Central Intelligence Agency has secretly amassed credible evidence that at least 10 of its employees and contractors committed sexual crimes involving children.
- Jason Leopold and Anthony Cormier, CIA Files Say Staffers Committed Sex Crimes Involving Children. They Weren’t Prosecuted., BuzzFeed, 1 December 2021
- Yes, there is a conspiracy, in fact there are a great number of conspiracies that are all tripping each other up. And all of those conspiracies are run by paranoid fantasists and ham-fisted clowns. If you are on a list targeted by the CIA, you really have nothing to worry about. If however, you have a name similar to somebody on a list targeted by the CIA, then you are dead.
- Alan Moore, in "The Mindscape of Alan Moore" (2003)
- It’s difficult to separate the Uygurs from the barrage of anti-China denunciations coming from the US, most of which have a script familiar to those who follow America’s ‘soft’ campaigns against its strategic enemies... The leading US media are invariably the cipher. ‘In China, every day is Kristallnacht’, declared The Washington Post [last November], likening China’s treatment of the Uygurs to that of the Nazi genocide of the Jews.... That’s not untypical; it reads as if it has been written by the US Agency for International Development or the National Endowment for Democracy, which fills in for the CIA. No one doubts the ruthless reaction of Beijing to separatists, but as a reporter, I would like to see for myself.
- What’s the cadet motto at West Point? You will not lie, cheat, or steal, or tolerate those who do. I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole. It’s — it was like — we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment.
- Mike Pompeo I Was The CIA Director - We Lied, We Cheated, We Stole, ZeroHedge,Tyler Durden Sun — Texas A&M University (April 15, 2019)
- What we’ve been hearing from the panelists is how the global food system works right now... It’s based on large multinational companies, private profits, and very low international transfers to help poor people (sometimes no transfers at all). It’s based on the extreme irresponsibility of powerful countries with regard to the environment. And it’s based on a radical denial of the economic rights of poor people... We’ve just heard from the Minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Many point a finger of blame at the DRC and other poor countries for their poverty. Yet we don’t seem to remember, or want to remember, that starting around 1870, King Leopold of Belgium created a slave colony in the Congo that lasted for around 40 years; and then the government of Belgium ran the colony for another 50 years. In 1961, after independence of the DRC, the CIA then assassinated the DRC’s first popular leader, Patrice Lumumba, and installed a US-backed dictator, Mobutu Sese Seko, for roughly the next 30 years. And in recent years, Glencore and other multinational companies suck out the DRC’s cobalt without paying a level of royalties and taxes. We simply don’t reflect on the real history of the DRC and other poor countries struggling to escape from poverty. Instead, we point fingers at these countries and say, “What’s wrong with you? Why don’t you govern yourselves properly?”
- Jeffrey Sachs', Speech at the UN Food Systems Pre-summit, Share International magazine, Speech transcript (October 2021)
- I know you're working for the CIA; they wouldn't have you in the Mafi-A.
- War, "Why Can’t We Be Friends?" (1975), Why Can’t We Be Friends?
- As the Cold War intensified, the NSC became the main coordinating body for how to conduct it within the US government. On intelligence, likewise, Truman aimed for centralization and effectivization. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), established by the same act that set up the NSC, aimed at bringing together the various intelligence-gathering bureaus and agencies that existed within the US government. In this it failed, since different branches of military intelligence as well as the signals intelligence bureau (later renamed the National Security Agency, or NSA) remained outside CIA purview. But the new agency still became a key instrument of US Cold War capabilities, both through spying and through covert operations.
- Odd Arne Westad, The Cold War: A World History (2017)
- William Devereaux: The CIA didn't know the Berlin Wall was coming down until bricks started hitting them in the head.
- Lawrence Wright, The Siege (1998), Twentieth Century Fox